Hi all, this thread is to help others learn to identify HVX on their hostas. Please post your photos of "known" infected hostas...or at least "likely" hostas. In order to keep this thread focused, please post your pic of a hosta needing HVX identification in a new thread...it will get immediate attention that way. I hope this is OK as we have info scattered about. I have a few photos of hostas obviously infected, and some likely ones that I can share. Apologies on the clarity of some of the photos. I took many with a new camera phone. Warning on my photos, I use Paint Shop Pro to color correct and enhance my photos. It is needed due to the lack of control or lighting at the nurseries where I took many of my photos. It is possible that this process may enhance some aspects of the leaves so that you can tell if the hosta may have HVX, or it may make a "possible" look infected when it may not be. Hopefully Chris or the "real" experts will post if they see something that needs correction. I've also done my best to get the variety of the hosta correct, but in many cases am depending on the tag, which I take of a photo of prior to photographing the rest of the hosta...sometimes the glare washes out the name. Again, corrections are invited.
I'll post several this weekend, but here are a couple really bad examples of the virus. This is a photo of the variety 'Sum and Substance', which is the larger hosta with gold leaves, and 'Striptease', lower left side. The 'Sum and Substance' should be a nice even solid chartreuse green...no blue/green blotches. The "ink-bleed" effect of the dark color following the veins of the leaf are really visible in this pic. Also, the "zig-zag" marks that Chris of Hallson Gardens mentions in his DVD are evident. I credit the people here and his DVD for teaching me how to identify the virus.
Here is another of 'Sum and Substance' and 'Striptease'. These pics show both the "ink-bleeding" effect of a darker blue/green on the lighter part of the leaf following the veins as well as bleaching and lighter "zig zag" marks on the rightmost 'Sum and Substance' leaf.
Edited: Chris from Hallson's believes this hosta is NOT infected. I am leaving the photo in for the purpose of education...it fooled me, so it could probably fool you too...it isn't always easy to identify them.
This variety I am not sure, but the photo before it shows 'Love Pat', and I think it is the same, but I may be wrong.
These had just been watered, thus the strange glossiness.
Edit: Chris from Hallsons believes the coloration on this hosta is caused by a nutrient deficiency rather than HVX. I am leaving the photo in for educational purposes.
This one is an unknown, but note that sometimes you can see the virus from the underside of the leaf, or by holding the leaf to the light.
Last are some better quality photos I took last year of my 'August Moon' hosta. I bought this one thinking "Cool", it sure looks different. To my horror this spring, I discovered that it was infected with HVX. Sure hope this thread helps prevent someone purchasing some infected hostas.
Those are some pretty amazing pictures. Were these just at one nursery???
The Old Glory doesn't look infected. The Love Pat and the unknown blue you posted aren't infected either. Although it looks like the veins are darker in those pictures in reality it is the tissue between the veins that is lighter. This is a nutrient deficiency, not the virus on those two.
I almost didn't notice anything on the Gold Standard you posted, but then looking closely I could see that the lower leaves look to have some darker mottling. Good eye on that one.
Did you get a chance to tell the nursery owners? They need to throw out all of their Sum and Substance, Striptease, Gold Standard, and Stiletto and quit buying plants from that particular grower...
Well, the horror hit my garden Tuesday evening when I noticed the startings of HVX on my Striptease. I thought I was over the hump with this one as it ahs been in the ground for 3 or 4 years. Guess I was wrong. I would have pulled it already, but I have some others that are close and I want to get those out first so I can dig a huge hole around Striptease and get Everything out of that hole. I'll be looking for a new Striptease now.
Did someone mention Hallsons or Naylor test all for HVX?
When I told Bill I had the virus in the garden (I got the division of Striptease from a friend so I will be calling her to let her know and for her to check hers) he asked what I had to do to the plant. I told him and he said why didn't you get it out of there already,,,told him I had to get a bunch of stuff out before that one, cause I was gonna dig one huge hole around it to make sure I get it all. Will be doing that either tonight or tomorrow morning.
Have the 10 yards of composted manure coming tomorrow. This transplanting is going to take Way more time than I figured. Lift plant, plant in new bed, scrub tool, scrub gloves, for each one,,,Oy Vey, this is gonna take all summer,,lol but, I have too much invested in my collection to Not do what I need to.
So far, this is the only plant I have noticed. Am Still watching like a hawk though.
I still don't see that much that's difinative on your Striptease photo as absolutely HVX. I know the second leaf has mottling between the veins, so I really think ya need to run this one by Chris. Good luck, cause this is not a good feeling when you know for sure ya have it in one of your beloved hostas. A photo of a good case of it makes my skin crawl.
Chris probably is getting in some overtime on this forum lately! I have photos from last year that I will get off my computer and post.
Kelly and everyome else. they say you cannot tell for sure unless it is lab tested. Kelly is your striptease near a cedar tree??? I can send you photos of a striptease that looks like it has a real good case of HVX. It is not HVX I can assure you. The plant las been doing this this time of year for close to 5 yrs. Yet it keep on growing and getting bugger every year. It is crouded right between two Patriots and neither show and type of infection are anything else.
Abpout this time of the year my cedars start to shed. They are close to 100 ft tell so you can imagine how much falls down on the plants. I am convinced it has something to do with the ceder shedding. Can anybody tell me what is the pronosis for HVX. I have looked all over. Does it kill the plant run its course are what. Everyone is talking about it. but what exactly will it do to the plant is let run its merry way. I ahve yet to see it said it kills the plant.
I don't have any Cedar tree's in the yard, so that's one down. This is the first year that I have noticed this particular pattern. Last year in Sept. I took a leaf to Foxfire with me, showed it to Steve, he said nope, not the virus, just the plant making more chlorophyll before it goes dormant.
This looks nothing like that. It looks like the ink bleeding pattern to me. That's why I am questioning it. Would love to see pics of your Striptease.
I'm not really sure what the prognosis is of a plant that has it. I am going to be ordering the CD from Hallson's maybe that will say something.
You know Kelly I have a supecious mind. I just wonder why none of the people are screaming it kills plants and the rest of us like here on Daves Garden have no idea. I will try to take a picture a D-mail it to you tomorrow. It really look bad and I think it is something that is assoaciated with Striptease. I see a lot of people cdomplaining about it on Striptease and I am wondering if it is not HVX at all and just some quirk of the plant.
Thanks Chris! I've updated the photos you mentioned but left them in as I thought it was helpful to see where confusion could occur--thinking if I was suspicious others may be also.
Yes, except for 'August Moon', these are all at the same nursery. Unfortunately, I could not find a manager to speak with on this occasion, and as I was traveling in the area, I will have to see what I can do via email tonight to the company. I used to do a lot of business with them when I lived in the Northern Virginia area where this chain is located. If anyone lives there and needs to know the name, dmail me, please. Otherwise, my purpose here is not to knock a particular nursery but to educate. I will be posting pics I have taken elsewhere when I get them. I almost always have a camera with me when I shop at a nursery anymore as I am collecting info on plants going into my landscape and find it extremely valuable to have a photo of the plant I am considering in addition to its name. So many tags are less than helpful, or downright wrong on their information so I try to look it up before buying a 10 foot plant for a 1 foot space.
Oz...all the info I have read up on Chris' site and the Hosta Library says it does not kill the plant. They seem to start out looking "interesting", then eventually get fairly ugly as the puckering starts up from the ones I have seen.
I hate to say this, but I could post HVX pics from nearly every nursery I have visited this year. You all are welcome to print my photos out and use them for educational purposes. Please ask me if you want to use them for other reasons.
Quoted from one of Chris' reviews on another thread...might be helpful.
With gold hostas the bleeding tends to be dark along the veins, not white, although sometimes in the sun that bleeding also bleaches. The dark green bleeding and/or bright white bleaching has a pretty distinct look to it. In the case of these pictures of Gold Drop the fading seems to start at the veins but then crosses and carries over them to the edge of the leaves. This is more like surface damage, although it may have originated in the lower portions of the veins, but HVX shouldn't look like this, especially on a gold cultivar.
In the case of Red Hot Flash the margins should be dark green. The vein color is dark green, which is exactly what the whole margin should be, so the problem is not darker color along the veins but lighter color between the veins. This is what it may look like when a plant has a nutrient problem. The color change is occuring between the veins, not along them.
Lighter colored mottling tends to occur in green plants, usually the fragrant green ones, and will usually start along the veins and then radiate out.
Because the symptoms vary so much from plant to plant it can be difficult keeping track of them all, but there do seem to be similar patterns on similar plants that make HVX distinct from other looks, like frost damage, freeze damage, sunburn, overwatering, or nutrient problems.
You are absolutely right, your Striptease is infected. Sorry :( Reminds me of the first time I saw it in a batch that I had for a couple years, right down to that sinking feeling when you realize what you are seeing. It starts out slow, sometimes only a tiny spot or two, then grows over the years. Last year there may have been a spot or two on your plant that could have easily gone unnoticed.
And yes, that is a big misconception about HVX and how the plants will grow. Hosta Virus X does not kill the plants and in most cases won't even affect the vigor of the plants. If it did kill them the virus would have been wiped out a very long time ago. However, we grow hostas for their unique colorations; the virus changes all that. Once a hosta is infected it is infected for life.
Patriot, by the way, is one of the plants that is highly resistant to showing symptoms. There are thousands of infected Patriot on the market but they are not showing symptoms and personally I do not know exactly what it will look like once they finally do. The large majority of the infected Patriots started appearing last year so we might know in a few more years what the visual symptoms actually look like.
My DVD may help to identify the many different looks of HVX, but I also really need to add a larger section showing other problems in plants, such as sunburn, frost damage, spring dessication burn, overwatering damage, underwatering damage, fungal leaf spot, etc. At the end of the year I'll do a big update of the DVD with all of the new info we've talked about this year and hopefully add a lot more to clear things up a little.
Thank-You for getting back to me so quickly. I was pretty sure it is HVX, has the classic symptoms. I have scoured the Internet for pics and info on HVX, so I am pretty familiar with the signs. By no means am I even close to being educated enough about this pain in the patootie. In fact, I'm in Hallsons right now ordering your DVD. I will be looking forward to the release of the next one.
Yes, my heart did sink when I saw the leaves. This is the first year I noticed anything on Striptease. I have been watching it very closely last year and this year along with some others that are more susceptible to the virus.
I will be digging every hosta within a 5 foot radius out and then digging to the center of the earth about 6 feet around this plant to make sure I get the whole plant, roots and all,,,hopefully fully intact. I have way to much $ invested in my collection to be spreading it.
I will be buying some abrasive items along with some major disinfectants to thoroughly remove the sap off of each tool I use. Already have 4 hand shovels that I use., Will have to get more spades and gloves. My obsession is expensive and time consuming enough as it is,,,now, I need more items. Anyone realize how long it's going to take me to transplant 300+ hostas into the new beds. I'm figuring I sould be done sometime next year,,lol
Well, I'm glad Chris confirmed Kelly's Striptease definitely had it. Mind looked like hers only worse. I was afraid for a minute that I trashed a perfectly good (otherwise gorgeous) hosta. But, I was sure after all the pics I've seen...
Sucks, don't it! I planted a Huecherra in that spot (because I was too lazy to dig up the whole area). I HATE IT! Actually, it's a peach flambe Huecherra and just doesn't look nice with the mulch. I think I'll go back today and dig up all the dirt and put my new Robin Hood there. That's the only drag about using mulch, it's a pain in the butt when you want to change things around. I have a large bed in the back that I'm still working on and arranging and re-arranging things before I put the mulch down. But, I'm sure I'll move things a hundred more times before I'm happy with it.
ROFLOL,,,I was just gonna post,,,nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah,,,I was right and you were all wrong,,,Not the I want to have HVX,,,but I knew it was that sarned virus as soon as I saw the dark bleeding spots. O.K., I'll get back to being a grown up now,,,Still ROFLOL
Just ordeed the DVD,,,will also be ordering the new one as soon as it comes out.
BTW, Steve said the same thing last night in his e-mail back to me. Also hoping that it's contained and speedy complete removal.
Can you take a photo of the Patriot that we can see just a bit of in the photo of your Striptease, and post it, please? I just see somehing, that I can't tell what I'm looking at, so need a closer look!!
Unfortunately, I concur. I have to get mine out today. We just got 10 yards of composted manure. We started shoveling until we were both almost dead. Bill called a friend and he came over with his tractor, boy, that was So much better. Got all 10 yards put in the gardens today. I'm wiped just from this morning.
Brenda-----Yeah it is a pretty good sized striptease,but nothing exceptional. It is 33 inches wide and 24 inches high. The pat's are a bit lower but about as wide are wider. Here is the picture. you know what I am going to do ?. I am going to leave them there till dooms day. I want to see what happens.
Kelly, I'm sorry for you that Chris has confirmed your suspicions. But I guess it's good to know. Sounds like you've had quite a day.
I find it scary what Chris said about Patriot. Shows even more why we need to ask nurseries whether their plants have been tested. I have a Patriot coming in a trade, but I believe the person bringing it has had hers for awhile and she's very aware of virus considerations; so hopefully it will be fine.
Grouping looks nice. Let us know periodically what is happening. And, yes, be careful when you are around Striptease.
I guess he didn't tell me anything I didn't already know. I would have been totally shocked a Very suspicious if he said it didn't have HVX. Yes, we got both the new gardens filled and some put on the raised veggie beds. Was way too tired so will be getting to the Striptease in the a.m.
Kelly one of the first things I learned about HVX was the only way to tell if they had it was through lab test. Now I have learned it does not kill the plant. Maybe it runs its course like human and animal virus's and passes on. All these different things do not collate like they should in my mind.
Oz, even if it does not kill the plant, it definitely reduces their hardiness. Although the experiment is interesting, unless you intend to never cut into that bed or the plants in them, I would still be very cautious about the potential to transfer the suspected virus to your lovely collection. You seem willing to risk it, while I'm not. Viruses are all different...some stick with you forever ("shingles" or "chicken pox" virus for example...or other scarier human viruses). Some can be controlled, and some seem to subside while leaving our immune systems with the symptoms or reactions. There does not seem to be enough information to know what type this is...and unless you are going about this in a scientific manner, you can't know if the results prove or disprove your theory.
I agree, there is still a lot we don't know about this virus. They are learning new things all the time. You need to do what makes sense to you.
All I know is my Striptease is going today. I doubt I'll replace. I was going to order it from Hallson's, however right in the info on the plant it says the plants have tested negative for HVX for 2 years, still, they don't recommend buying the plant. So, for now, I'll be Stripteasless until we see what happens with them in the future.
Ann It mistifies me the stuff that besets this plant. This is the same plant I sent the picture of that looked like it reverted then turned into a Striptease the next year. KELLY MY DEAR is suppose to be talking to somebody about that wierd happening.
These three plants are a bit isolated. I figure if they are that close together then it is to late allready so lets do a experiment and see what happens. There was no indication of anything thill about a month ago. another thing that bothers me is if you look at the bottom of the picture you will see a grassless spot. That is from my lawn tractor that I used as a garden tractor. The passage there is very tight and the exhaust is on that side. One thing about this experiment it might take a couple of years to see what happens.
Was wondering the same thing myself. I just ordered Chris' DVD. I'll see if there's anything on there. If not, I'm sure we can d-mail him and ask him to post his answer. Also could start a new thread on that very subject.
OZ MY DEAR LOL,,,I'm getting there. I have to go next week. I'll be taking the info with me.
Chris wrote previously on his website forum that because of the long dormancy period it would be possible to get a sport onto the market before a parent plant is diagnosed so he recommends to be cautious of sports from plants with high rates of infections.
I don't think that means it would be more susceptible but I think that if it wasn't tested along the process it may be at a higher risk. Hopefully I understood Chris's post correctly. He did not touch on this in the post but maybe genetically it would be more susceptible? I'm going to have to order the DVD!
If the sport grew from the parent, it may already have the virus. If it was grown from tissue culture from the sport, it may be more susceptible, as it shares the parent's sensitivity to it, I believe.
I just brought in a leaf from one of my beautiful,fat,striptease hostas and compared to the pics of infected hostas. I'm sad to say I have a badly infected plant. She looks so healthy-I have no experience with this virus. What do I need to do? She's in a bed with lots of other varieties of hosta.
dig it up. you have to get all the roots or plant another kind of plant there. make sure to disinfect your tools and wash your hands before touching other hostas. some people burn them, some leave them out to dry and throw them away. i put them in with my regular garbage.
Thanks Kathy- yes, very sad. It will be hard to dig up and throw away what looks like a healthy thriving plant. But I will get right to it tommorrow. Do I need to do anything with the hosta right beside it? I don't see any signs of trouble on it yet.
As long as the roots don't get sap on the roots of the other hostas you'll be fine. I would just keep watching the ones that are really close. I had some close to my Striptease and I don't see anything on those yet, however, I am watching all of mine like a hawk.
I have been outside transplanting some into the new beds. Believe you me, I have gone through prolly 20 pairs of disposable gloves. I use them one way and then I turn them inside out,,,I Know Scrounge! I am carrying my little garbage pail with me and after I get done with both sides of the gloves, they go into the garbage pail, I have a pail with bleach water (very strong) and a brush on a handle, my hand shovel gets scoured in between each hosta I dig and plant. Well, back out to play Cinderella,,,LOL
I just got a notice that from a vendor that my backordered August Moon is getting ready to be shipped! I think I am going to ask him to replace it with something else! Meantime I am going out here and taking pics of my Striptease again, maybe you guys will see something I dont. I know one thing, all of these pics of plants infected with HVX is making my skin crawl! I cant stand looking at them because I itch all over!
Sylvia----I have more space between my hosta then you and many others do. If I was you I would not have taken a chance either. I am getting to the point where I am wondering if it is safe to buy any hosta. At this point they do not know how many different types it will effect are what the final outcome would be per plant, and it goes on and on. If what you got is clean then maybe you should be satisfied with that. This spring I could have sworn I seen it on some Montana Areuomarginata in a group of otherwise nice plants. Yet I have never heard of it on them YET. It caused me to back off. I caught my cat lying under this Striptease I have that looks like virus X. Was the first time I ever realized she was using the hosta as a blind on nail birds are chipmunks. I seen a couple of broker stems under there and I got to just wonder now where she has been. If she goes in there gets sap on her and goes somewhere else to hide under another hosta then I got trouble out there for sure.
I just had to throw out one with the virus and I had used the same tools on about 15 or 20 hostas making a new bed and not using my head at all. I'm so thankful that all of those are in one place and I will know to watch that bed closely. I won't make that mistake again, that's for sure. I have another bed to complete, but think I will just move around what I have and wait for a couple of years to see what happens.
I wanted to buy more hostas this year, but I'm not buying or trading any until we get better answers on this disease. Is anyone working on a cure that we know of?
I don't know about a cure, but most wholesalers are not buying from Holland where most of the diseased plants came from. If we can then educate people here to get rid of the diseased plants that are already here, it should slow down.
My vendor asked me where I saw Autum Moon reported. he says he has had the same August Moon in his nurseryn for twenty years.
Where did I see that about August Moon? I got it off one of these threads some where. Anybody know?
You're right. The only way he could have transferred HVX onto his August Moon would be to use a tool to divide it that was used on a hosta with HVX and not sanitized in between, or, a scissors to cut a flower stalk off, or, if he touched a broken leaf and then touched a broken leaf of the AM on the same part of his hand.
Sounds to me like the vendor with the 20-year old August Moon could have VERY easily transfered the virus from another plant over the course of time, like Kelly says. The only way he could be sure is if his plants have been tested. Plus, how likely do you really think it is that in 20 years he's always been so careful every single time he divided, snipped, etc?
Kathy - I believe it's a misconception that all of the virus is coming from Holland. I read somewhere (maybe even here) that the virus is spread much more here in the U.S. now and probably got started here as well. The biggest problems with HVX are in the U.S. and Holland.
I agree. I wasn't careful until this year. And I Still don't know if I'm being carefull enough. I'm using disposable gloves, throwing them out and scrubbing my shovel with bleach water and a brush., Wish I could afford to throw those shovels out each time,,LOL
I'm sure it's spreading very quickly in the US. There are Tons of people that don't know about it. Theya re selling, or splitting hostas that have it without knowing it.
I caught myself the other night reaching down to pluck a flower stalk off of a hosta and going to the one next to it to pluck that one off too. Thought, you dummy,,,you can't do that anymore.
Kelly, me too. I had heard about HVX last year, but didn't take it very seriously. Kind of like, this food will cause this and that food will cause this. If you listen to all that stuff all you'd be eating is oatmeal and I'm sure I'D be eating the wrong kind.
It wasn't until this year, when I saw it for myself (at nursery's and even had one infected) that I took it verrrrry seriously. Plus the awareness just from reading this forum. I was only a member for 2 months last year and don't remember it being such a big deal.
I've heard and read from several sources that it originated in Holland. But, regardless of where it came from, I totally agree that WE are spreading it. I personally won't be doing any trades any time in the near future. Who knows what I've done in my garden and I feel safer buying either from nursery's that are very aware of the problem and taking precautions or people that I know. It's still no guarantee.
p.s. now if someone would pleasssssse tell me what's the deal with my Sagae, I could have a really good reason to buy a couple extra large hostas! If it's bad, I'd rather just get rid of it and replace it now, I don't know what to do?!
kd60504 said to get all the roots or plant another kind of plant in the hole of the sick hosta you removed. Can I put something else in its place and be ok? I thought I needed to wait a year before planint anything. I have another hosta 3 ft from the one I dug up. It looks fine but I'm watching it. I have a huge hole now that I would like to put something in but have been afraid to. Please advise.
You can plant anything you want in the empty hole as long as it's not another hosta, unless, you are 300% positive that you got every little tiny piece of root from the diseased hosta out of that hole. Me, I still wouldn't plant another hosta there for at least a year. Throw an astilbe in there instead. :)
I planted a huecherra where I dug up striptease originally. I didn't like the way it looked, so I moved the huecherra, moved the mulch and dug to china, replaced the dirt and planted Robin Hood there.
I tossed a couple other hostas I just didn't like the way they looked and put some of the babies from the co-op in clay pots in their place. I don't know that they had HVX, one was probably just nutrient deficient and the other was Gold Standard that looked funky (no bleeding) and I just dug it up instead of worrying about it anymore.
There's no controlling HVX (at least not in infected plants,. which should be destroyed). You can control the spread of the virus through your own hostas by being aware of the visual signs so you can recognize it should it rear its ugly little head, and by practicing safe hosta gardening techniques. Diligently clean your tools between plants when working in your hosta beds, including your scissors or shears if you snip off a flower scape. The best defense is a good offense - I think that's what they say!
I too can't stress enough about sanitizing All tools in between use on Each hosta. Dig hosta, plant hosta, use bleach and water mixture or ammonia and dish soap mixture, Lysol, anything that is a disinfectant, scrub your tools thoroughly, rinse and wipe clean with a paper towel. I know it sounds like a pain in the rear, and it definitely is, but I just spent 2 weekends doing just that and believe me, I'm still hoping I got my tools clean enough. The idea is to get All of the sap from the root or a leaf off of the tool. I don't want to wipe out my whole collection of 300+, just because I didn't sanitize well enough.
There is no way to get rid of the virus. If you find a plant with the virus in your gardens, get it out, sanitize your tools, lay the hosta out in the sun to dry it out really well and then put it in a garbage bag and throw it out.
I still think that a lot of us are ill-equiped to diagnose the virus accurately - based on the number of threads - mine included, about possibly diseased plants. A large percentage of the questionable ones are turning out to be nutrient deficiency or fast growth.
So, it seems to me that unless you have a POSITIVE diagnosis by someone who really knows what they are talking about, that it would be premature to yank a suspect hosta out too quickly. It might be better to feed it, give it nutrients, and watch it for a few weeks before making the final decision.
If one is vigilent about sterilization of tools, you should be able to protect your other hostas while you are watching it. (Don't forget that the virus often takes awhile to show its symptoms so that any damage to other hostas may have already been done anyway.)
I agree. I was being what I considered Overly vigilent. Bought disposable gloves, mixed my bleach and water, scrubbed well so shovel would be all nice and sterilized,,,rinsed with the hose, then I put the gloves on inside out. Not even Thinking,,,If I touched a virused plant with the gloves, turned them inside out, the virus got onto my hands and it spread to every other hosta I touched when I would turn those gloves inside out.
Talk about brain dead. I feel just terrible and am just sick over it, have been since it dawned on me that I was That STUPID. Trying to save a few pennies could possibly cost me prolly1/3 or more of my hosta collection. And, Yes, Amime Tachi was one of them. Although I do believe I grabbed a new pair of gloves for that one. (Please Lord)
I am now in major panic mode and am checking Every day to see if anything is starting on anything I transplanted. I Still can't believe I did that.
Don't beat up on yourself. If you've done damage, you can't undo it. Just be careful in the future, but sensible too. And meanwhile, think positive. There's a very good chance that you have NOT damaged as much of your collection as you fear you may have.
Kelly--I had to do just what Ann is saying. I was careless and I may pay the price for that, but for right now I am just counting my blessings for the lesson I learned. Don't beat yourself up--life is too short.
I can't even bear to think about what I did in previous years and where I bought my hosta from! OH WELL! I'm not going to make myself crazy about it anymore. I'm careful now and now is when I'm getting the more expensive plants. So what if a couple Walmart hostas get the ax. This year I've spent more than every other year combined and I've been extra careful. So, hopefully all this new stock will be safe.
Then again...you don't really know that everything your getting is safe either.
Yeah, and I don't plan to buy and/or trade any hostas this year. For one thing, my income has just been cut about in half, and that happened at just the right time to keep me from being tempted to go back on my word. I hope that by a year or two from now, there will be a cure for this hateful virus.
All the ones I might have messed up are in one bed and so I have them right where I know which ones to watch for. You should have seen me when I was moving some hostas the other day. You'd thought I was buying stock in Clorox. I do believe in overkill!! LOL
Hey Guys!! If I have a hosta that is suspicious looking, and cannot stand to get rid of it can I take it and plant it next to my screened in building at our camp site where there are no other ones arround? If I find another and another I could take them too and at least see them, They would not ever be a threat to any other ones?? Bev
Sylvia, I don't know how long it takes, but I have always understood that they will eventually die. I've don't have personal experience in this since my one and only (so far) HVX hosta is now in the Linn County Landfill in a plastic bag. Maybe somebody else has different information??
Kelly is correct and I stand corrected. From the Hosta Library..
MYTH - Viruses will kill, or at least severely inhibit growth of the host plant.
FACT – Eventually, some deterioration in the health of the plant can occur, but a plant may survive for many years when infected with a virus. Different viruses affect the plant's health at different rates, but some effects may go unnoticed.
Can someone tell me the article about the virus?? I do not know much about it so I need to read. I have a lot of brown spots on my hostas now and i want to make sure that my investment are not infected.LOL!! Thank you, Bellie
My sysmpathies to those of you who have HVX in your gardens. I, too, have been hit through an infected Gold Standard that I planted last year. The Gold Standard is long gone, and fortunately, it was planted in an area where I didn't have to disturb other hostas in digging it out. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures before I sent it to the landfill.
Sadly, I must have spread the HVX to this Night Before Christmas before I realized what was going on. This was definitely diagnosed by the University of Minnesota lab's tissue analysis. The plant was close to two other NBC plants, so I carefully dug it with a garden fork from the side away from the other two plants. Now I am watching the other two to see if they show any signs of having been contaminated.
If they are brown spots,,,prolly not HVX. More likely to be Nematode, some kind of pain in the rear bug, or winding down for Fall,,,grrrrrr
So sorry to hear about your Gold Standard. and NBC. I have a GS that is 9 years old so I'm fairly certain it's clean. I'd be willing to send you a start of it for postage. If you want, d-mail me with your address.
By the way, anyone who wishes to use my photos for educational purposes to teach others about HVX is welcome to do so. Note Chris' caveats on some of the pics I posted in this thread. I found it helpful to have photos with me last year when I was shopping and discussing this problem with the various garden centers in my area.
largosmom...this is in reference to your pic that has both Striptease and Sum and Substance:
I've noticed that many S&S plants and sports have pronounced spidery looking "bleeds" running horizontally between the veins when they first come up in the Spring. I have 2 S&S's, one Bottom Line a Lady Isobel Barnett and a few others. I noticed that they all look very much like your "postively ID'd" version of S&S w/ HVX.
I guess I am trying to say that I hope that people give their plants time to come up and color up properly before prematurely diagnosing them w/ HVX.
I know that all of my S&S's and sports that I own don't have HVX, but they look almost identical to your pic.
Hope this made sense. :)
PS Chris, please correct me if I'm wrong and own 7 infected hostas. LOL
I'm glad to report that in the new bed where I had one infected plant and very carelessly used the same tools on a bunch of other acquisitions, I have no signs of problems. As soon as their little green tips popped out, I was down there as close as I could get to check them out. So far so good. I sure learned a lot about taking care of my tools from that mess last year.
I was on a garden tour today and saw two instances of HVX in one of the gardens. Not the kind of thing you want to hear if your garden is on a tour, that's for sure, so I debated on whether to say anything.
I got talking to her about the wonderful things in her garden and she brought up the hostas, so I said, "speaking of hostas, did you know..." We went to check out the plants in question and I showed her the characteristic inkbleeding along the veins. She had heard of the virus last year, but she was grateful to know about it in her yard. Grateful but sad, she said. Anyway, we had a great conversation after that. And she got me back by making me pose for a newspaper photographer. lol
She said she'll probably destroy it, and she certainly won't divide and share that 'different' looking plant with the neighbours!
I was re-reading this thread with interest tonight because this past week I visited two different hosta gardens. Neither seemed concerned about HVX. One didn't know a thing about it! The other is president of her local hosta society so presumably knows about HVX. Both used the same shovel to dig up hostas for sale with no cleaning in between uses!
I think I'm going to stop buying plants and just hybrize my own from now on!!!
Molly, I like your idea!
It makes me feel just a little smug in knowing that my garden isn't on a tour (yet), but someone who does have a tour garden has infected plants! I do feel like such a smarty-pants telling "experts" that they have HVX! Of course, I am so smart b/c I get info from all of you out there!
Should I add my 2 victims to this post?
I also recently went on some local garden tours put on as a fundraiser. I was thrilled that several of the gardens were full of amazing hostas. However, I did notice a dreadfully infected Gold Standard in one of the gardens. It was tucked back in an out of the way corner, so perhaps the owner was watching it. I did not say anything to her. There were already a great many people talking to her, and I just didn't have the heart to say something to her. Everything else in her wonderfully landscaped garden was perfection...and...she dug every hole and moved every rock herself.
Should I have made the effort to speak to her about her infected plant? (And, I could have offered a replacement to her from my own garden. I have a long border of mature Gold Standards that are at least 7 years old.)
I think a "thank you" card to her for hosting such a nice tour would be appropriate. You could enclose a few photos you took of it in its prime (or comment about a particularly nice plant), and simply say that you could not help but notice that her Gold Standards did not look like yours and suggest that she check the hostalibrary and Hallson Gardens HVX links for more information if she was not already aware and enclose a picture of yours and an offer to share some if she should need to replace it.
I was worried about hurting her feelings but I think there is a way to approach the situation gracefully, if given the proper opening. People go to tons of work to prepare for a garden tour. I think it helps that they know you appreciate that above all else.
I saw one at one of the gardens and I didn't have my camera drat! It was a Gold Standard and the grower thought it was sporting but I wondered if it was HVX. It was the usual GS colors but with large patches of bright yellow and cream on it. He was thrilled and told me some big name in Pa had registered one just like it. I didn't have the heart to say I thought something was wrong with it. Somehow it looked wrong, not like it was sporting at all.
I, too, didn't take this very seriously until this year. I hadn't even heard a lot about it until last year. Now, I just walk and look almost every day. I am being very careful this year. I hate the look of the spent scapes, but I'm leaving them. It's really discouraging to see that hostas that some of you have had for 7 or 8 years are just now showing the signs. That means I still have some worrying to do. I have both Striptease and S&S that I've been watching very closely for signs. I got a Gypsy Rose this year that has some strange markings on it, but it's still new, so I'm going to leave it alone and see what happens. None of my hostas (except the ones behind the garage) are touching, so hopefully I'll be okay.
Rose, if you clean your clippers between hostas you'll be fine. :) Might as well get use to doing it. It's actually a good idea to clean the clippers between any plant that you suspect might be a problem.
Just an update...I also posted this hosta on the Hallson's HVX forum, and Chris isn't sure that I have HVX on Beckoning. I am going to get a closer pic of the spots later today.
"It does look a bit odd, but hard to tell from the picture if it really is HVX. Do you have a macro zoom on your camera to get a really up close shot of some of the spots?
Also, check the back for brown dots. Some sucking insects will attack from the back which can discolor the front.
Beckoning goes through some odd color changes at times, and especially when it is younger. My plants had some funny looks to them last year so I sent them off for testing and they were fine. This year they have a much cleaner look to them. And I spoke with the grower of this one and they also had complaints about possibly virused plants but they all checked out to be fine."
Wow - Chris already responded to my pics and he says that because of the brown spots in the center of the darker spots, it's probably insects and NOT the virus. What a relief! I will watch this hosta closely and be very careful, but I'm feeling much better about it now that Chris has weighed in :-)
Never did get pics of my Gypsy Rose posted as I dug it out of my garden on the very day we left for three weeks in Australia. Here it is. And this was Chris' response.
Quoting:YES, your Gypsy Rose definitely has Hosta Virus X. The first picture doesn't really show something that would be a definite symptom, but those dark green streaks right along the veins in the second picture are EXACTLY what you are looking for on a gold centered plant.
He also indicated that there is a very high incidence of infected Gypsy Rose plants now. Mine was a year old, but just showed the symptoms this year. I'm hoping I was vigilant enough not to have spread it.
Flintrock, No reason to be scared, just know your facts, what it looks like, proper cleaning of tools and only buy from people that live and breath hosta (and what they take for precautions) and you'll be fine. :)
Here's what it looks like on Halcyon. The darker splotches are sunken in, and the plant emerged in the Spring with some very deformed leaves, as well. This would have been it's third season in my garden.
Although it cost an arm and a leg by the time I got them here, those Agdia test
strips have been worth it because they've confirmed 3 cases of HVX in the garden for me late this summer.
Interestingly, my records show I bought all three of them in either '04 or '05. I didn't notate the name of the nursery, which indicates I bought them someplace other than a specialist hosta nursery, because I always notate the name. It was probably a big box store, or seasonal garden centre.
I wanted to post these because they show a different symptom from the inkbleeding symptom I was used to linking to HVX. These just looked funky in the garden, so I tested them, and sure enough...
#1 - Mottling
Here's my 4 year old
Lakeside Black Satin
Sandy, thanks so much for posting these pictures. The 'Mountain Snow', like you said, really doesn't have much of "classic" symptoms, just looks worn at the end of the season. I hate HVX. I hope none of mine end up with it. I've been religious about disinfecting tools but did buy two plants from a seasonal garden center this year...hopefully they will be fine.
Ugh, now I feel even more depressed. My entire garden was started in 2005...I've had one case of HVX so far but I'm so afraid they've all got it now and I just don't know it yet. I didn't buy any test strips because I kind of don't want to know how bad it is. :(
Noreaster - you SHOULD buy those test strips because you might be pleasantly surprised and even if you aren't you'll know where you stand instead of constantly worrying about spreading a virus you 'might' have.
Elizabeth - I've had two confirmed cases of HVX - one in a plant new to me in 2006 and one that was new last year. Both were reputable sources. Just keep a good watch on your plants, but I hope you will be fine.
I know Ann, but I guess I just prefer to live in denial and enjoy my plants as long as they are looking nice. I do disinfect my tools and all that. I also agree with you that I don't know that the source means a whole lot, considering the length of time the virus can remain dormant. I think it can show up anywhere hosta are being produced..I know what a major pain it is for me just to disinfect between cuts and maintenance of my own little garden...I just can't see a lot of growers going to all the trouble, all the time. But, I admit I'm a pessimist.
Sandy, did you test all your hosta or only ones you thought looked a little funky?
Yikes! The price they want for those strips! For the moment my collection looks OK. But, I've got some coming in a fall order and some I put in earlier this year. Now I read that it can take a year for the disease syptoms to actually show. Plus, what got my attention about this thread was a trip to what I always considered the best garden center in the county. I stopped dead in my tracks in the hosta section. They had obvious hostas that appeared infected. Needless to say I bought no hostas. If I have any infected plants that aren't showing symptoms I've already spread it by cutting back the flower scapes that were going to seed. :>( After this fall order I'm out of the hosta collecting hobby until either the test strips get cheaper and you can take them with you to the garden center or this disease is under better control. 80% of my back yard is a series of shade and Japanese Maple gardens. The last thing I need are a bunch of diseased hostas,
If they're older, I guess so, Ticker! I really envy all you guys that have started your gardens a long time ago. I'm new to it all and love hosta most of all, but if I let myself think about HVX I get seriously depressed. Snapple, what is scary is that it can take longer than a year for signs to show. I could deal with it if I lost a hosta I planted only a year ago. Losing a mature specimen is what would get me. Sandy's are 3-4 years old and some aren't even showing "obvious" signs, yet are still infected. And I have seen obvious cases in virtually every nursery around here- including the upscale ones.
Snapple, why would you be done with hostas? Just buy your stuff from reputable dealers and you're fine. I love hostas way too much to let HVX or nematodes or any other virus get in the way of my collecting them.
I'm going to take a "time out" - Time to evaluate the health of the ones I currently have and time to watch the growers' response to this menace. Since I also love to share and swap hostas with local fellow gardeners I feel a responsibilty to make certain that I don't unknowingly add to the problem. We have a local Hosta society here. My next step is to contact them. I've heard, but havn't verified, that they have a co-op going on getting the test strips. My goal during this time out is to assess the health of what I have. My collection is pretty small, only about 25 named cultivars, but the total mass is a major part of the gardens.
Ann bought from a reputable source and her hosta still turned up with HVX. But, I'm not gonna stop collecting them either...I'm just gonna stay in denial and keep cleaning my tools! I think anyone willing to trade understands the risk at this point.
Noreaster, you asked whether I tested all my hostas or just the ones that looked funky. I'd love to be able to test them all, but I have about 300 hostas now and by the time I got the strips up here to Canada, the added cost translates to each strip costing $7.13. That's over $2,000 to test them all ! No, these particular ones just didn't look right, so I tested them.
Snapple, that sure would be nice if the strips were cheap enough to take with you hosta shopping!
Don't you guys feel that it should be the responsibility of the nursery to at least do a batch test when they get a shipment in? If one hosta in the batch tests positive, likely the whole batch will be the same. Perhaps a lot of them do this. As consumers, yes, we have a responsibility for sanitation in our gardens, but, darn it, I sure would like to be able to buy virus-free hostas without feeling I need to test each one. That's $7 per hosta (for me), plus the hassle of buying the strips. Although, having said all that - it does give me a sense of security having the strips to test a few that look odd. But if one day I knew my garden was HVX free it would really irk me to think I have to test each new hosta myself. Makes hybridizing your own hostas look mighty attractive, eh.
Edited to say that the strips are not exactly instant - you are supposed to wait 30 mins for results.
This issue will have to addressed by the growers. Economically they really can't afford not to. Once they do get a handle on it the remaining reservoir of diseased stock will be in home gardens. That's a dicey problem because every time an infected hosta gets innocently passed along the reservoir increases. Research indicates that there is no treatment for any plant virus. So, identification and sanitation of infected material along with the development of resistant varieties will be the front line in the battle. It won't be pretty.
I think nurseries do have a responsibility to do "test spots." If they purchased strips in the kind of bulk they would need, I bet that would drive the cost per test to $3-$4 each. Test 5% or so of stock coming in, a few plants from each shipment, and reject the whole shipment if any show up with HVX. I really think that if the supernurseries built in the cost of testing and let customers know that is what they were doing, we would be willing to absorb the price. I for sure would be willing to pay $1 or $2 more per plant if I knew that it was from a batch that was tested.
I hate to hear you guys talking about discontinuing your collection of Hostas... there are do many hostas I say .. so what! Until the industry start doing test strip on their plants we are at a lost anyway. I am not going to buy test stripes to find out if a plant has HVX ...when Icould just junk the plant and buy another. ... there is just too many of them (hostas) out there. ... and I never seen a Hosta I did not like.
Also I question the validity of the test stripes, whats the percentage of accurcy? I dont see the big guy using them. The tissue culture process it self is suppose to stop the production of HVX cells ... so who is to blame?
So what is happening here?
last year i showed you guys pictures of my Striptease, because it appeared diseased to me ... you guys said nothing was wrong with it, but my pictures looked worse than Pugs, but nothing thing is wrong with Pugs.
I might be wrong, but I dont think the Hosta industry is regulated enough to make all these claims... so I am not giving up my Hostas.
The growers know they have a problem and are working to address it, but still diseased stock is finding its way into the market place and into our gardens. Read the article link below. When I buy a hosta I buy it because it has a particular set of traits that I find pleasing - color, variegation, sun tolerance, size and texture. I don't want the plant to wind up looking different because it's diseased. Even if the disease changes the plant to be oddly attractive, at least at first, it can't be propagated like a desirable sport. In short the plant is worthless and threatens the rest of the surrounding hostas. I'll close my collecting for now ( pretty small collection anyway but growing) to preserve what I have.
In my opinion, in the current environment, adding new hostas to an established garden could ultimately cause the loss of the entire collection. I don't have much really, but I chose what I have carefully and I'm not willing to risk it all.
I don't see how introducing a virus infected hosta puts your whole collection at risk...unless, I guess, if you have them all packed in together with no space between any one them. I feel reasonably sure I haven't passed the virus along in my collection, even though I've had one sick plant so far. Along with cleaning tools between cutting and digging, I now also line the hole with newsprint every time I swap hosta in the garden, and add new soil so that any old root fragments don't mingle with the new roots until everything is well broken down. The reason I think my whole collection is probably infected anyway is not because of anything I did, but from how the plants were most likely handled at the growers or later the nurseries.
Ticker, are there growers that will actually guarantee that they will sell you a hosta that won't come down with HVX four years from now? If it does, do they just replace it for you?
I may have asked this once before but do those strips detect the virus even if the plant does not display symptoms of any kind?
Yes, the strips do detect the virus before the plant shows symptoms. I have no fear of buying hostas from Naylor Creek, Hallsons, Dawn's Bloomers, In The Garden Nursery, etc. Those folks have been on the forefront of fighting HVX and have moved to ensure that their stock is clean. I buy hostas from people that live and breath hostas. I don't buy them from big box stores or specialty nurseries (swanky or not), and I usually don't buy them from someone having a sale in their yard unless I know that person and where they get their hostas. :)
Quoting: are there growers that will actually guarantee that they will sell you a hosta that won't come down with HVX four years from now?
I think that's a misrepresentation of the problem. The hostas won't 'come down' with the virus in a few years unless they are exposed to it within your garden. In most cases, if you are being careful, it comes with the virus and doesn't show the symptoms for a few years.
I believe that the reputable nurseries which are concerned about HVX ARE doing checks or buying from sources that guarantee virus free plants. I personally feel that the big problem is stock that may come from nurseries which acquired their plants before they were aware of the virus and have then grown them on. The first one I had came from stock that was, most likely, purchased before that variety was considered subject to infection.
The second one tested positive when I sent leaves back to the nursery from which it was purchased. It looked quite healthy when it arrived last year but declined during the season. The nursery indicates that the rest of their stock has tested clean; so it's anyone's guess as to where the virus came from.
I AM worried about other plants which arrived in the same shipment with my two virused plants because they arrived bare root and some of them shared water jugs before I got them planted. I know which ones came in the same shipment, but I don't know which ones were in the same water and might have been cross-contaminated. I know better now and I'm watching all those in the same shipment.
snapple45 - I see you've been on DG for awhile. Have you been active on the Hosta forum? I don't recall seeing many posts from you in the past, but thank you for your contributions to this thread and for the very interesting link above.
Finally, Sylvia, I don't recall where I've read it - maybe on Hallson's list, but there have been tests done to collaborate the results of those test strips and they have proven to be quite accurate.
We are now up over 200 posts on this thread, many of them with pictures. I'm wondering whether Laura would like to start a Part 2 or whether one of us should do so. It's getting to the point where those on dial-up will start to have difficulty.
Edited because a couple of paragraphs were obviously out of order. I must have scrolled up with the mouse and not gotten back to the right place.
My interest in hosta collecting really just got started. I got about 10 new aquisitions in the last two years. Just over this weeked, in a very reputable local nursery, I saw obviously infected stock. Earlier this spring I got a 'Sum and Substance' and a 'Spilt Milk' from this same nursery. It's a bummer to think I could lose the whole kit and kaboodle just when barely getting started. In my Master Gardener continuing ed classes this year we had a presentation about HVX. I'm sorry to say I didn't realize the full impact until I saw those infected hostas at my favorite nursery. They've been in business for well over 25yrs.
So, although I'm usually over in Water Gardening or the Trees, Shrubs and Conifer forums with a smattering of perennials, amaryllis, shade gardening, and pests and diseases I thought I'd see what was being discussed here about HVX. Very interesting.
But I stand firm about my time out. Until I know what I have my self, and until the industry makes some substantive inroads in certifiyng healthy plants, I'm not adding any.
Quoting:I think that's a misrepresentation of the problem. The hostas won't 'come down' with the virus in a few years unless they are exposed to it within your garden. In most cases, if you are being careful, it comes with the virus and doesn't show the symptoms for a few years.
Ann, that is what I meant. Not that it will contract the virus while in your garden, but that it comes with the virus and does not exhibit symptoms until years later. For example, in Sandy's case and her 3 and 4 year old plants. So you buy a hosta from a reputable source, practice good sanitation, and 4 years later you've got a hosta that tests positive for HVX.
I feel better about my hosta purchases from Hallsons and Naylor Creek as well, but I guess I still don't feel like those plants are really 100% safe unless they have all been tested at the grower. Perhaps they are now? I don't know enough about their growing process. I know Chris Hallson has posted on his board about his experiences with HVX so I assume that means that even as diligent as he is, he, like the rest of us has aquired sick plants unknowingly on occasion. It's the stealth nature of this virus...unless it is specifically screened out, batch by batch, by whomever supplies them?
Ann, I said: "Great article Snapple. However, I'm still buying Hostas and the growers I buy from guarantee their hostas to be healthy, etc. :) And are proactive on protecting the consumer from HVX and Nematodes. :)" Not what you quoted. :)
And I still believe that. I really think Nematodes are worse than HVX. They are harder to get rid of and they spread a whole lot easier. Now you can have nightmares about Nemies.. :) LOL
How about posting a pic of that unhappy hosta on a different thread (not this one which is for CONFIRMED HVX cases). That way we can all take a look and offer opinions. But if there was an infected hostas which was recently removed, there COULD be a chance of infecting another. Or you could have a problem with nutrients deficiency, or ...